There are a variety of reasons for a data center assessment. It could be either to improve its energy efficiency or to reduce its redundancy. No matter what is the goal, data center assessments are very critical. In the age where technology keeps updating now and then, it becomes even more essential for businesses to hire IT consulting professionals to assess their data center.
Since a typical lifespan of any data center is somewhere between 15 to 20 years, they have to experience several technological refreshes. With the rapid change in cooling systems, aisle containment and more, data centers need to be more adapting to these changes. Before starting with the process of improving the efficiency of a data center assessment, any IT business consultant would agree that it is a must to conduct a thorough assessment.
So, here are the five steps any business and IT professional should follow to assess a data center.
- Set Goals: Setting goals and aims is the first step towards data assessment. It is very essential to identify the goals you wish to achieve from the assessment to evaluate the success of the process. Reliability, redundancy and energy efficiency could be the goal of your assessment endeavor.
- Develop a Technology Profile: Developing a profile of all the technological equipment used by the business is the most overlooked aspect of any data center assessment. The size and model of IT infrastructure deployed in a data center defer from company to company. When assessing the IT of any data center, improvements and integration recommendations should be made in accordance with the existing equipment and technology available in the business. The technology integration strategy must be planned in a manner that it supports the current IT deployed in the firm.
- Assess the Infrastructure: After setting the goals and creating the technology profile of the company, the next step is to conduct a detailed assessment of the data center’s IT structure. It involves going through and understanding the physical structure like cooling systems, fire protection, telecommunication, and more. The design and performance of these structures should be assessed while keeping in mind the goals set aside by you.
- Identify Deviations: The comparison of the existing IT infrastructure with the assessment goals is called Gap Analysis. It presents a comprehensive list of deviations which is worked upon in the later stage. Most IT consultants advise incorporating a risk level with differences that are identified in the process. For instance, when a variation is found on your IT structure and goals, assess whether the risk of data downtime by not eliminating the deviation is high or moderate.
Develop an Incremental Plan: Working in and managing a data center needs thorough planning. Besides identifying the deviations in the data center, it is also important to formulate a plan that allows seamless upgradation of technology without hampering the productivity of the business operations. The upgrades in data centers must be carried out in a sequential format that allows reduction of data loss and risk.